Rick Neuheisel watches Jerry Neuheisel lead UCLA past Texas

It was almost too perfect.

Three decades after his father led UCLA to the Rose Bowl, Jerry Neuheisel’s dreams came true. In three-plus quarters of injury relief for Brett Hundley, the redshirt sophomore completed 23 of his 30 passes for 178 yards — guiding the Bruins to a 20-17 win over Texas at AT&T Stadium.

And of course, the coup de grâce: his 33-yard pass to Jordan Payton for the game-winning touchdown.

Back at the Pac-12 Networks in San Francisco, Rick Neuheisel watched the whole thing.

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UCLA 20, Texas 17: Noel Mazzone talks about playcalling

After starting quarterback Brett Hundley injured his left elbow in the first quarter, UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone dialed back the playbook. He opened it up at the perfect moment.

He called for receiver Jordan Payton to make a double-move down the left sideline. Backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel saw the cornerback’s eyes, pump-faked, and threw a 33-yard dime for the go-ahead score. Bruins 20, Longhorns 17.

“It was kind of right on the tip of my tongue for two drives,” Mazzone said. I was kind of just waiting for the right time. … They started playing a little man (coverage), and I thought, ‘Hey, if we’re going to take a shot, this is how we’re going to take a shot with them.’”

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UCLA 20, Texas 17: Jerry Neuheisel talks about his big game

UCLA left Texas with a 20-17 win thanks to backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel, who filled after Brett Hundley injured his left elbow. Neuheisel threw a game-winning, 33-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Payton, and finished 23-of-30 for 178 yards and two scores.

“As my dad used say, ‘It’s a great day to be alive and be a Bruin,’” Neuheisel said. “Can’t mean it more than I do today.”

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Report: Quarterback Brett Hundley’s elbow injury not serious

When UCLA lost quarterback Brett Hundley to a left elbow injury in the first quarter of a 20-17 win over Texas on Saturday night, its hopes for a banner season teetered on the brink.

The good news for the Bruins is that they don’t play again until visiting Arizona State on Thursday, Sept. 25. The bye week ahead should give the star quarterback more time to recover.

FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman reported that Hundley suffered a slight hyperextension of the elbow at AT&T Stadium, and should be ready in a week.

Head coach Jim Mora said after the game that the team decided not to put the right-handed Hundley back in the game after he had his elbow X-rayed. He will be further evaluated with an MRI once the Bruins return to Los Angeles. Continue reading

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Jerry Neuheisel’s big game pushes UCLA to 20-17 win over Texas

Backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel is carried off the field after UCLA’s 20-17 win over Texas on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014.

» Despite losing Brett Hundley to an elbow injury, UCLA beat Texas 20-17 after backup quarterback Jerry Neuheisel threw a 33-yard go-ahead touchdown to Jordan Payton.

» UCLA started both halves on offense after Texas accidentally asked to start the game on defense following the coin flip.

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UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley injures left elbow against Texas

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, with his elbow wrapped before the start of the second half.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley, with his elbow wrapped before the start of the second half.

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley injured his left elbow on a scramble during the first quarter of the Bruins’ Saturday game against Texas.

The redshirt junior landed awkwardly at the end of an 11-yard run with just under five minutes left in quarter, putting his weight on his left arm. Trainers examined his left elbow, rubbing it with a salve. A UCLA spokesperson announced that Hundley’s return to the game is “probable.”

(UPDATE: Shortly before the start of the second half, Hundley’s return was ruled “very doubtful.” He was on the sideline with his elbow wrapped.)

Subbing in redshirt sophomore Jerry Neuheisel, the Bruins mustered a scoring drive immediately after the exit of their star quarterback. But after Ka’imi Fairbairn’s 47-yard field goal, UCLA gained just four yards on six plays on their next drive — one that ended with a sack.

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What to watch: No. 12 UCLA vs. Texas

If UCLA wants to finally back up all that preseason hype, today’s the day. The Bruins have a primetime 5 p.m. PT kickoff against Texas on FOX, and a strong de facto road win at AT&T Stadium will assuage some of the concerns about their uneven performance through two games.

Here’s how the teams stack up.

UCLA offense vs. Texas defense:

Charlie Strong is a former defensive coordinator who has a lot of experience working specifically with the line, so the fact that the Longhorns’ have size and depth up front fits well into his coaching philosophy.

Junior defensive tackle Malcom Brown stands at 6-foot-2, 320 pounds, and leads the team with 2.5 sacks and five tackles for loss. Senior defensive end Cedric Reed (6-5, 272) has started the season more quietly, but was a first-team All-Big-12 selection who racked up 10 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles a year ago. Starting defensive end Shiro Jackson, starting defensive tackle Desmond Jackson and reserve tackle Hassan Ridgeway have combined for 3.5 sacks and five tackles for loss through two games.

Linebackers Steve Edmond and Jordan Hicks are also threats, and have combined for 41 tackles — including five for loss.

So this game might prove a tougher night for Paul Perkins, who is coming off career highs of 23 carries, 98 yards and two touchdowns. Continue reading

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